Published on Friday, March 24th, 2023
The King-Smith family are saddened to hear the news about Mary Rayner, who has died aged 89.
Mary was a brilliant writer and illustrator, who did sterling work on some of Dick’s early stories Daggie Dogfoot (1980), Magnus Powermouse (1982) and The Sheep-Pig (1983).
One of her most memorable books was the brilliant Mr and Mrs Pig’s Evening Out (1976), which was by equal measure thrilling and terrifying. In the book, Mr and Mrs Pig go out for the evening, leaving a babysitter, Madame Lupino, in charge of their ten piglets.
Mrs Lupino, it turns out, has suspiciously hairy legs and a long snout, and is, in fact, a wolf, hellbent on eating the piglets!
Luckily, the piglets are resourceful and determined and work together to vanquish the villainous Madame Lupino. We highly recommend that you read this fantastic story, providing you are brave enough!
On the original manuscript for The Sheep-Pig, Mary did some wonderful sketches of Babe, Farmer Hoggett and Fly. We feel that she brilliantly captured the essence of Dick’s story and characters…
Mary had a very interesting life and was a great talent. You can read more about Mary in The Guardian obituary by Julia Eccleshare.